The Shepherd

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"Kengo" redirects here. For the voice actor, see Kengo Takanashi.
The Shepherd
The Shepherd
Names
English
  • Kenneth Drayden
Japanese translatedKengo Dojun
Other
  • The Shepherd, Shepherd (ブラッドシェパード Buraddo Shepādo, Blood Shepherd)
  • Gunman (by Ai)
  • Sheppy (dub only, by Ai)
Japanese
Japaneseどうじゅん けん
Base道順 健碁
Furiganaどうじゅん けんご
RōmajiDōjun Kengo
Personal
Gender
  • Male
Relatives
  • Career
OccupationBounty Hunter[2]
  • Duelist
Anime DeckDrone
Appearances
Anime debutYu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 47: "LINK VRAINS 2.0"
Appears in
AnimeYu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS
Voice actors
EnglishDanny Kramer
Japanese
  • Takanori Okuda
Shepherd, The

Kenneth Drayden[Notes 1] (どうじゅん けん Dōjun Kengo, Kengo Dojun in the Japanese version),[3] known as The Shepherd (ブラッドシェパード Buraddo Shepādo, Blood Shepherd in the Japanese version) in LINK VRAINS, is a character appearing in the second season of the Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS anime. He is Emma Bessho's half-brother, and he is a bounty hunter who was hired by SOL Technologies to track down Playmaker, serving as an antagonist due to his hatred of A.I. After Dueling his half-sister, he tried to defeat the Ignis to prevent her from being harmed by them, but was defeated by Lightning and turned into data. He was later revived once Playmaker defeated Bohman.

Design[edit]

Appearance[edit]

Full-body view of Kenneth.

Kenneth is a slim man with lilac eyes and purple hair with a navy blue underlayer. He conceals his identity behind grey glasses with blue hexagonal lenses and a maroon scarf that covers his nose and mouth. He wears a long denim blue coat with a high collar open over white pants and a pale blue shirt with a lilac lining.[4] His artificial arm has a black glove over the hand with a teal patch on the back. In his youth, he wore a more simple suit in subtle shades of purple with a yellow-brown tie.

As The Shepherd in LINK VRAINS, his Avatar is a masked man with a cowboy Western motif. His face is entirely masked, covered in grey skin and a twin-section "mask"; the top section is red and resembles the face of a bat with pink lenses, the bottom section is blue and covers most of his face. The Shepherd swathes himself in a light purple mantle with red lines running down it, and a green line running around its collar with a red rectangular clasp. He also wears a grey jacket with a high collar and green inside, grey pants with loose straps around the ankles, and grey boots with straps around the feet and red soles. Shepherd's artificial right arm is more obviously expressed; the forearm is stylized after the hammer and chamber of a revolver, and the knuckles and fingers are lined with red. These lines intersect with a black and red "eye" or "barrel" on his palm, which appears to be where he focuses his ability to destroy Avatars. His left shoulder has a hexagonal light purple pauldron lined with green, while his left hand is simply gloved. When he uses his Skill, the edges of his clothes glow green.

Kenneth is strongly associated with the color purple both in reality and as The Shepherd. Ironically, Playmaker defeats him with a Fusion Monster, which have a purple border.

Personality[edit]

Kenneth is a consummate and ruthless professional. He bases his decisions largely on monetary gain, with no regard for personal attachments, and he considers Emma soft for refusing to hunt for Playmaker because she owed him. He displays casual ruthlessness by deleting the Avatar of a person who harassed him and boasted of his own abilities to attack Avatars.[2] He is pragmatic; using Akira Zaizen and Ghost Gal as bait while battling a hacker, though he still took the time to rescue Emma when she was endangered. He has no hesitation in lying and misinforming his opponents to let their guard down. Similar to Playmaker and Varis, The Shepherd also has a habit of listing a count of three in various situations; he often uses this count to drop his target's guard.[5] In the dub, Shepherd goes as far as to state that he doesn't care about his cards, only about how useful they are to him. Shepherd is a lone wolf by nature; he works apart from The Gore, Kenchi, and Yozaka, and later declines an invitation from Varis to join the Knights of Hanoi. The primary exception to this seems to be Emma, who he teams up with to protect Zaizen and later works with in the finale.

Kenneth loathes and distrusts A.I. due to the role a malfunctioning one played in his mother's crippling, and he constantly demeans both Ai and his own A.I., which he has modified to lie. He believes that A.I. should be under humanity's control and that they cannot be trusted; going as far as to leave his contract with SOL Technologies after learning their intention to combine the Ignis into a single A.I., and consistently using lethal force against them unless circumstances prevent him. He claims to Lightning that he believes A.I. to be less perfect than humans.

Kenneth detests his father for leaving him and his mother, though Varis claimed that he felt a large sense of loss after his father's death, though Kenneth furiously denies this. Despite this, Kenneth maintains a protective side for his half-sister Emma; rescuing her before she even knew he existed and sparing her from deletion despite vowing to do so if she opposed him several times. Kenneth later strikes out on his own against the Ignis purely to protect Emma, and during their Tag Duel against Roboppi, he blocks the impact of the attack that depleted their LP. While Kenneth never comes to forgive his father, he does make peace with him. In the dub Kenneth tries to hide this, denying that Emma is his sister at one point, but before his data is claimed by Lightning he asks her to call him her big brother.

In the dub, Shepherd shares a conversation with Ghost Gal before Lightning takes his data that hints that he has come to regret his actions because they wasted the time he could have spent dealing with the trauma of his past and reconnecting with his new family. He laments that time is one thing that money can't buy, no matter how many bounties he captures.

Abilities[edit]

The Shepherd displays the ability to delete Avatars within LINK VRAINS, which is a function of his artificial arm. By grabbing the unfortunate Avatar, Shepherd shocks them and they convulse, then go limp before dissolving.[2] He can also fire energy blasts from his palm that can destroy A.I. in a single hit if they have no protections.[5] He also uses various modifications of the Ignis algorithm; creating a trap within LINK VRAINS from the program of the gate to Windy's Cyberse and disguising it well enough to fool Ai and Flame, and later using it to track the Ignis, though this program can be blocked. Shepherd also demonstrates the ability to examine a target's memories as he does information in a computer.

Biography[edit]

History[edit]

Kenneth speaking with his mother.

Kenneth's father left him and his mother before he finished high school. Kenneth saw him one day while completing delivery work with his new wife and daughter, Kenneth's half sister Emma.[1] After completing his education, he took his his mother out to dinner for her birthday. He was grateful he was able to finish high school and wished to jump straight into a career rather than pursue a higher education. His mother was hesitant about this. They took a new A.I.-controlled taxi home, but it malfunctioned and crashed into the site where a previous car accident had just occurred. Kenneth lost the use of his arm, and his mother's spinal cord was severely damaged, meaning she would never walk again. Kenneth built himself a prosthetic metal arm and devoted his career to bringing A.I. programs under the control of humans.[3]

The Shepherd, Ghost Gal, and Zaizen pursuing a hacker in another net world.

Kenneth worked in the military for a time, where he was known to interrogate A.I. with his artificial arm. He later became a bounty hunter, taking the alias "The Shepherd". He worked alongside Akira Zaizen and Emma, who used the alias "Ghost Gal" in a net world that was not LINK VRAINS to capture a hacker, though he didn't reveal that he was Ghost Gal's half-brother. He used Zaizen and Ghost Gal as bait to attain a chance to destroy the hacker's Avatar, and rescued Ghost Gal from the hacker's bomb, calling her by her real name.[5] He learned of his father's death a year before the series.[1]

Lost Ignis[edit]

The Shepherd deletes a troublesome Avatar.

The Shepherd received a contract to capture Playmaker, and he waited at a cafe in LINK VRAINS. Two Avatars were harassing the other patrons and chasing them away, trying to claim their spot. The younger brother tried to intimidate The Shepherd, but was unsuccessful, so he and his brother threatened him with their Avatar-harming programs. Unimpressed, Shepherd picked up the older brother and informed him that he could also delete Avatars, before proceeding to do so, terrifying the younger brother. Ghost Gal approached, asking if he'd accepted the contract on Playmaker from SOL Technologies. Shepherd confirmed that he had, and criticized Ghost Gal for being soft when she stated that she hadn't as she owed Playmaker. When criticized in turn for making his decisions based on money, he replied that it was professional and warned her that he wouldn't show her mercy if she opposed him. When Playmaker logged into LINK VRAINS, he was confronted by The Shepherd, for he had a bounty on his head. Playmaker replied he didn't have Ignis by his side, but was betrayed by his Duel Disk, for Ai returned to him with "Linkuriboh". To get rid of Shepherd, Ai summoned a Data Storm, forcing Shepherd to log out, due to the danger present.[2]

Kenneth later joined the other Bounty Hunters that SOL Technologies had hired; George Gore, Kenchi, and Yozaka, in Akira Zaizen's office. Gore was surprised to see Kenneth masked, as Kenneth didn't want to show his face to those that revealed theirs in LINK VRAINS. Gore claimed that he would be the one to defeat Playmaker, lamenting that Playmaker was always a step ahead of him. Kenneth ignored Gore, but reminded him not to order him around, as he did his things at his own pace. Zaizen showed them footage of the glowing figure that Playmaker had Dueled as Kenneth believed it would help them track Playmaker down. Gore was alarmed at the figure, while Kenneth noticed that the figure had not logged out. Regardless, Zaizen explained that the figure had gone beyond the Restricted Area of LINK VRAINS.[4]

The Shepherd ambushes Playmaker and Ai in the depths of the Restricted Area.

The Shepherd waited at the gate to the Restricted Area to ambush Ai and Playmaker.[6] He attacked them with energy blasts from his artificial arm, so Ai released a Data Storm in retaliation. This time The Shepherd resisted the Storm and continued attacking them until Playmaker commented that he was just threatening them, as he could only win Ai through a Duel. Shepherd warned them to choose to Duel or surrender, giving them a count of three to let their guard down, and shot at them after the second count. Unable to escape, Playmaker agreed to a Speed Duel. The Shepherd took the first turn, simply summoning "Drone Pawn" and Setting a card. As Ai commented on Shepherd's moves, Shepherd's A.I. explained the effect of "Drone Pawn" and noted to Shepherd that they had put it in position to be vulnerable to the consecutive attack effect of Playmaker's latest monster and Shepherd noted that he had Summoned "Drone Pawn" in the wrong Zone. Playmaker Link Summoned "Elphase", and Shepherd's A.I. explained that he could not activate his Set card. Playmaker subsequently brought out "Shootingcode Talker", and used the effect of "Elphase", to revive "Clock Wyvern", setting up an OTK. Shepherd's A.I. explained its owner would lose in the next attack, which Ai agreed with.[5]

The Shepherd retorted that he had succeeded in fooling them; activating "Capture Drone" to trap "Shootingcode Talker". Ai protested that Shepherd's A.I. stated he could not activate his Set card, and Shepherd enigmatically stated that he shouldn't have trusted his A.I., or any A.I., much to Ai's anger. On his next turn, Shepherd swarmed the field with "Drone Tokens" via the effect of "Capture Drone", silencing his own A.I. and demeaning Ai for explaining obvious information before bringing out "Battledrone General".[5] Shepherd used the effect of "Battledrone General" to revive "Drone Pawn" and swiftly reduced Playmaker's LP to 500, but before he could finish him off with "General's" attack, Playmaker activated "Cure Conversion" to negate the attack and recover LP. Ai commented that Shepherd had missed his target, and Shepherd noted that they also had, since their LP was no longer low enough to activate Storm Access. Playmaker managed to bypsass the effect of "Capture Drone" with his Ritual Monster, "Cyberse Magician", which forced Shepherd to Tribute "Battledrone General" in order to halve the battle damage to stay in the Duel. Despite having no monsters left on the field, Shepherd was able to rebuild his formation while also Link Summoning "Medicdrone Dock", and then proceeded to perform the same combo from his previous turn. This time, Playmaker survived due to the damage-halving effect of "Cyberse Magician", leaving him with only 900 LP. Shepherd used his Skill, Drone Force, to reduce the ATK of "Cyberse Magician" and destroyed it with "Battledrone General". Intending to finish the Duel, he attacked "Cyberse Witch" with "Medicdrone Dock", but Playmaker forced a Double KO, triggering the effect of "Dock" to increase Playmaker's LP and once again prevent him from using Storm Access.[3]

The Shepherd complimented Playmaker, admitting that he was the first to escape his "Three Turn Count" and he offered Playmaker a chance to surrender and hand over the Ignis. Ai himself refused, claiming that Playmaker would never comply because of their strong bonds, a statement that caused Shepherd to recall the circumstances of his mother's accident. He angrily stated that all A.I. should be under humanity's control, much to Ai's confusion. Playmaker was able to use "Dimension Link" to both free "Shootingcode Talker" from "Capture Drone" and halve his LP, thus finally activating Storm Access. Since Shepherd's "Drone Cordon" still wouldn't allow Playmaker's Link Monsters to attack, Playmaker instead used his newly acquired "Clock Spartoi" to enable him to Fusion Summon "Cyberse Clock Dragon". Using its effect, Playmaker raised its ATK to 7500 and defeated Shepherd in a single attack. As he was defeated, The Shepherd asked himself how he could have lost to someone allied to an A.I.[3]

The Shepherd sifts through Soulburner's memories to find a weakness.

Zaizen logged into LINK VRAINS to talk with The Shepherd and The Gore, explaining that Playmaker had been in the Restricted Area to search for a gate. While Gore was irritated that Zaizen hadn't informed them about it, Shepherd was more interested in the prospect of the gate resurfacing and luring out Playmaker. He asked about Soulburner, the other Duelist with an Ignis who had been with Playmaker, and learned that he had likely been a Lost Incident victim. Zaizen stated that they would wait for Playmaker to make his move, but Shepherd stated that he would act on his own, claiming that Zaizen should be satisfied as long as he obtained the Ignis, and he logged out. Kenneth immediately got to work, using his artificial arm to replicate the gate's program and modify it to function as a trap. He placed the trap in one of the disused islands atop LINK VRAINS, and sure enough, Playmaker and Soulburner logged in and approached the gate. Within the gate, The Shepherd sprang his trap, but instead of dragging Playmaker into his trap, he captured Soulburner when the other Duelist shoved Playmaker out of the way.[7] Despite failing to capture Playmaker, The Shepherd didn't mind catching Soulburner instead as he also had an Ignis, and he connected to Soulburner's memories and examined Soulburner's past.[8] He destroyed memory bubbles as he sifted through them, before finally finding a weakness; trauma in the form of a monster called "Despair from the Dark". He added "Despair from the Dark" to his Deck, and then modified the interior of the trap into a volcanic chamber, goading Soulburner to face him. Soulburner was angered that The Shepherd had been looking into his soul, though Shepherd didn't care. Before the Duel started, he destroyed a surveillance bug that had been attached to Soulburner.[9]

Shepherd began slowly, protecting his "Duplicate Drone" with "Mirror Coat Unit" and deliberately having his A.I. only explain two of the three effects to mislead Soulburner in triggering its effect with "Salamangreat Heatleo". Soulburner protested, and Shepherd clarified that he hadn't allowed his A.I. to reveal the third effect. Shepherd asked them who decided an A.I.'s info was accurate, claiming that an A.I. was a tool that simply obeys humans, and claimed that since Soulburner treated an A.I. like a partner, he'd never understand the pain of his right arm. He activated "Drone Barricade" to protect himself, and observed the Reincarnation Link Summon for the first time as Soulburner attempted to get rid of "Drone Barricade". Shepherd used the effect of his Trap to banish it and activate another copy, protecting himself again and forcing Soulburner to end his turn. Shepherd then used "3D Bio Scanner" to bring out "Despair from the Dark", claiming that he wouldn't defeat Soulburner; Soulburner would lose to himself, and Soulburner went into shock. Pleased by his efforts, Shepherd then transformed his "Duplicate Drones" into "Despair from the Dark", creating three copies of the monster. Soulburner's Ignis accused The Shepherd of being unfair, and Shepherd replied that he'd do anything to fulfill his goal, especially against someone who relied on an A.I., vowing to bury Soulburner in despair.[9] He destroyed "Heatleo" and reduced Soulburner to 200 LP, but Soulburner was able to blunt the final attack with "Salamangreat Parro". Shepherd noted that Soulburner wouldn't survive another turn, commenting that Soulburner's trauma had scarred his heart and didn't heal easily, especially as it had been during his childhood. He ended his turn, telling Soulburner to hand over his Ignis and leave his sight. As Soulburner continued to fight, Shepherd urged him to make it easy on himself, reassuring Soulburner that no-one would think less up him for giving up. Soulburner revived "Heatleo" with "Rising Fire" and Reincarnated it, and though Shepherd believed it to be pointless, Soulburner suddenly activated the effect of "Rising Fire" with renewed confidence, banishing the "Despair from the Darks" and inflicting damage to Shepherd. Shepherd asked in shock how Soulburner overcame his trauma, and Soulburner asked what he meant, Flame causing Shepherd to realize that he had fallen for an A.I.'s deception. Soulburner then depleted Shepherd's "Drone Barricades", leaving just a Set card on Shepherd's field and Shepherd asked him if he was too scared to attack. Soulburner claimed he would take a step forward with Flame, and Shepherd derided him for saying that while relying from an A.I. He prepared to activate his card, but then the trap was destroyed, forcing The Shepherd to flee. He returned, attempting to capture Playmaker and Soulburner, but they logged out just in time as Ghost Gal logged in, and Shepherd reminded her that he'd warned her not to interfere. Believing he would have won, he turned his arm on Ghost Gal and claimed that they were enemies now, though he refrained from actually attacking her.[10]

Ignis War[edit]

The Shepherd received word from SOL Technologies about a new Ignis, and he, Kenchi, and Yozaka went to investigate, though they were unable to reach The Gore. They arrived in a new world and were set upon by dozens of Bits and Boots, and The Shepherd proceeded to simply eliminate them with his artificial arm and "Battledrone General", destroying them by the score, though the distraction prevented him from capturing any of the Ignis.[11][12]

Kenneth visited his mother in the hospital, recalling their accident and thinking that A.I. should not control people, vowing not to allow humanity to be conquered. The Shepherd tracked the Ignis using their algorithm and he found the Water Ignis in a pocket world and attacked her with energy blasts from his artificial arm. The Water Ignis challenged The Shepherd to a Duel, but Shepherd revealed that he intended to destroy her rather than capture her. She attempted to escape back into LINK VRAINS, but Shepherd easily followed and out-maneuvered her. Before he could destroy her, Blue Gal blocked his energy blast with her Duel Board and took the Water Ignis with her, hiding around a corner. Ghost Gal then opposed Shepherd and he ordered her to move, but she revealed that she was partners with Blue Gal and used a program to conceal themselves behind a massive room with many doors. The Shepherd's A.I. informed him that they couldn't track the Ignis from the room, so Shepherd proceeded to simply blast every door in sight. He eventually exposed a corridor and flew into it, and Ghost Gal revealed herself. Shepherd angrily asked why she continued to oppose him and side with the Ignis, and Ghost Gal lightly claimed it was due to a woman's friendship, admitting that this wasn't like her, much to Shepherd's exasperation. He challenged Ghost Gal to a Deletion Duel that would erase the account of the loser, and she accepted his challenge, revealing that she knew he was her half-brother.[13]

The Shepherd prepares to delete Ghost Gal's account.

Shepherd only Summoned a single monster and Set a single card, and Ghost Gal revealed that she'd learned his identity after he'd saved her from the hacker. She tried to talk him out of his hatred of the Ignis, but Shepherd didn't care to listen and ordered her to continue the Duel. He appeared to counter Ghost Gal's initial moves, but this allowed Ghost Gal to swarm the field with her "Altergeist" monsters and Link Summon "Altergeist Hexstia" and Synchro Summon "Altergeist Dragvirion", countering Shepherd's "Capture Drone". Shepherd believed that Ghost Gal had paid too high a price to stop "Capture Drone", but the effect of "Dragvirion" revived it after Ghost Gal had Tributed it to negate "Capture Drone" with the effect of "Hexstia". Ghost Gal tried to finish The Shepherd off there and then, but he blocked her direct attack with "Drone Asteroid". Ghost Gal admitted that she knew he wouldn't let her win so easily and ended her turn; Shepherd claimed it would be her last turn and began his count. He brought out "Battledrone General" and began assembling his formation, but Ghost Gal negated his first attack with "Altergeist Kunquery" and negated the effect of "General". Unfazed, The Shepherd used "Drone Force Tuning" to Synchro Summon "Commandrone Double Sniper", and attacked "Dragiviron" with "General". Ghost Gal negated the attack with its effect, fueling the effect of "Double Sniper", and The Shepherd then used "Drone Force" to weaken "Dragvirion" and subsequently "Hexstia" and empower "General". Ghost Gal negated his attack again, but this placed another Drone Counter on "Double Sniper" and activated its full range of effects, destroying "Kunquery" when it tried to negate the effect of "General" again and allowing "Double Sniper" to attack again, and attack directly. Shepherd then Tributed "Double Sniper" with the effect of "General", inflicting its ATK to Ghost Gal and defeating her. He prepared to erase her account, until Ghost Gal told him about their father's death and that he'd asked her to help him if he needed it. Upon hearing that, The Shepherd spared Ghost Gal and logged out.[1]

Kenneth leaves Zaizen's office, disappointed with his lack of assistance.

Kenneth learned of the demise of the Earth Ignis and of The Gore's decision to become a human-A.I. hybrid, which made him suspicious of SOL Technologies' intentions regarding the Ignis. The Shepherd accessed SOL Technologies' data bank, and he learned that SOL Technologies planned to unite the six Ignis into a single high-performance Ignis. He promptly went to Zaizen, brushing off Hayami and showing him the info, demanding to know if Zaizen had known. Zaizen admitted he'd only heard rumors, and Kenneth accused Zaizen's superiors of hiring him under false pretenses. He asked what Zaizen would do, but Zaizen claimed Kenneth shouldn't expect much and Kenneth stormed out, believing the talk to have been a waste of his time and deciding to consider his options. That night, Kenneth vowed to end the other Ignis, and he logged into LINK VRAINS, thinking about Ghost Gal's words. Varis, the leader of the Knights of Hanoi, appeared behind him, and while The Shepherd was unfazed by his appearance, he was shocked to learn that Varis knew his identity. Varis claimed that Shepherd had a hole in his heart after losing his father and that his desire for revenge hadn't vanished when he died. Shepherd snapped that Varis knew nothing, and that his hatred for A.I. had nothing to do with his father. Varis agreed that Shepherd's desire was important, not its cause and asked him to join the Knights of Hanoi. He explained that some of the Ignis had declared war on humanity, and though The Shepherd was shocked at the revelation, he refused to join the Knights. Varis suggested forcing Shepherd to join him, so The Shepherd decided to erase him, declaring his count and planning to attack on two. To his shock, Varis anticipated his pragmatism and praised it, claiming this was why he had chosen him. Intrigued by Varis's potential power, Shepherd decided to test him in a Master Duel. Varis only Set a single card, and Shepherd was enraged by the mockery, quickly setting up his "Drone" combo with "Battledrone General". Varis warned Shepherd that he was acting more rashly than normal, and he defended against his combo with "Checksum Dragon", so The Shepherd attempted to win with his "Blitz Drone" Continuous Spell Card. Varis countered it with the card Shepherd had mocked, "Imperial Order", negating all Spell effects on the field. He revealed that the Ignis used Spell Cards with Link Arrows called Link Spell Cards that Shepherd needed to be prepared for, given that the Ignis would likely target him due to his hatred of A.I. Varis asked Shepherd to help him again, but Shepherd insisted that he walked his own path. Varis Link Summoned "Topologic Trisbaena", which Shepherd trapped with "Capture Drone", but Varis was able to bypass its effects by destroying "Trisbaena". He then Summoned a Tuner monster, and Shepherd realized that Varis intended to Synchro Summon. Varis brought out "Borreload Savage Dragon", powered it up by equipping it with "Trisbaena", and combined it with "DMZ Dragon" to destroy "Battledrone General" and easily defeat Shepherd. Varis claimed that Shepherd wouldn't be able to defeat the Ignis, and Shepherd vowed to pay him back someday, a rare grudge for the bounty hunter, before logging out.[14]

The Shepherd vows to eliminate Lightning.

Kenneth went to his father's grave to leave flowers, making peace with him, though not actually forgiving him. Emma arrived with flowers of her own and was surprised to see Kenneth there, and Kenneth explained that he had come to say goodbye to his past. Emma asked Kenneth to help Playmaker and his allies against the Ignis, but Kenneth refused, claiming that he was a lone wolf. In reality, Kenneth intended to find and defeat the Ignis himself to protect Emma, and he logged into LINK VRAINS and began scanning for them. A voice called out to Shepherd, reading lines from Dante Aligehieri's Inferno and creating a portal. Shepherd entered the portal, emerging in a palace with the Light Ignis, Lightning. He asked Lightning if he had been the one who declared war on humanity, and Lightning confirmed that he was. Shepherd called Lightning a fool, claiming that A.I. were less perfect than humans, though Lightning believed otherwise. Unwilling to argue with Lightning, The Shepherd challenged him to a Duel. Lightning agreed, but warned Shepherd that he would take his data as he had with Jin Kolter if he lost, though Shepherd would be able to do what he wanted with Lightning if he won. Ghost Gal and Playmaker's allies then arrived, and Shepherd warned them not to get involved, claiming this was his Duel. Lightning then revealed that he had agreed to Duel Shepherd because he wanted to even the numbers, and believed Shepherd to be the weakest of his opponents, prompting Shepherd to vow to eliminate him.[15]

The Shepherd's data is claimed by Lightning.

The Shepherd kept Varis's advice in mind, beginning by bringing out "Battledrone General" and Setting "Snatch Drone" to lock out Lightning's Link Spell Card. When Lightning activated the Link Spell Card, "Judgment Arrows", Shepherd paid close attention to its effect of destroying Lightning's monsters that it pointed to if it left the field, and he waited until Lightning had finished Summoning monsters before springing his Trap. Lightning was able to prevent most of his monsters from being destroyed, but his offense was greatly crippled.[15] The Shepherd seized his chance to land several direct attacks on Lightning, but when he tried to attack Lightning's "Armatos Legio Centurion" with "General", the effect of "Centurion" negated the attack. Shepherd set up a defense with "Drone Unity", but Lightning was able to return "Judgment Arrows" to his Deck and summon his ace monster, "Armatos Legio Legatus Legionis", then link a different "Armatos Legio" monster to it and destroy "General" without damage calculation. Shepherd reformed his army on the next turn, and also Synchro Summoned "Commandrone Double Sniper", but Lightning negated his direct attacks with "Armatos Lex". Shepherd took advantage of the negated attacks to fuel the effect of "Double Sniper" and he managed to reduce Lightning to 200 LP, claiming that he didn't use weak attacks that an A.I. could predict. Once again, Shepherd prepared to stop Lightning's counterattack by Fusion Summoning "Fortressdrone Beehive" and swarming the field with "Drone Tokens" to increase its ATK to 5000. Unfortunately for Shepherd, despite having played the Duel perfectly, Lightning redrew "Judgment Arrows" on his next turn. Shepherd was able to negate "Judgment Arrows" again and seal "Legatus Legionis" with "Capture Drone", but Lightning sent "Judgment Arrows" to the Graveyard to activate the effect of his "Armatos Legio Magica Alcum" and destroy all of Shepherd's card except for "Beehive", whose ATK was reduced to zero. "Legatus Legionis" destroyed "Beehive" and defeated Shepherd, and Ghost Gal ran to his side and asked why he'd done this. Shepherd apologized for failing to help them, revealing that he had tried to protect his sister, and he apologized to Emma a final time before Lightning claimed his data. In the dub, Shepherd also lamented that he had wasted the time he had hunting bounties in his final moments, asking Emma to call him her brother.[16]

Ai's Rebellion[edit]

After Playmaker defeated Bohman, The Shepherd was revived, appearing alongside Blue Maiden in Central Station.[17]

Zaizen offered to hire Kenneth's services again, so The Shepherd, Ghost Gal and The Gore logged into the defunct Central Station to meet with him, Blue Maiden, Playmaker, Soulburner and Unnamed. Zaizen revealed that Queen had been attacked and her code key to SOL Technologies stolen, and that he wanted them to protect him from the same fate as acquisition of his code key would give the thief control of SOL Technologies. He revealed that Ai was the culprit and intended to come for him in three days, and The Shepherd noted that Ai had been quite audacious in revealing his identity and that he had turned against humanity as was his nature as an A.I. The Shepherd was skeptical that Playmaker didn't know where Ai was, given his location, though Soulburner and Gore defended Playmaker, as he would already have gone after Ai if he knew where he was.[18]

Three days later, The Shepherd logged back into Central Station alongside Ghost Gal, The Gore, Soulburner, Blue Maiden and Zaizen; Playmaker was absent. Varis and the Knights of Hanoi also arrived, having agreed to ally with Zaizen to stop Ai and turn themselves in after he was dealt with, Shepherd noting that they shared the same goal. He also explained to the tech-inexperienced Soulburner that they couldn't protect Zaizen in the real world, as Ai could potentially steal his consciousness there. The Shepherd was assigned to guard the eastern interior entrance with Ghost Gal and Specter, and Playmaker arrived as they moved to their assigned positions.[18] Playmaker, Soulburner and Varis were distracted by Ai copies, while the real Ai defeated Baira and Dr. Genome. The Shepherd and Ghost Gal found Roboppi, Shepherd using his artificial arm to attack the enhanced household A.I. Roboppi requested to take them on at the same time, and Shepherd was almost amused that he was being underestimated by a household A.I.[19]

As they began the Tag Speed Duel, Roboppi stated they wouldn't use their Skill, though they were fine with Shepherd and Ghost Gal using theirs, and they also offered to let them chose who went first. Though once again angered that Roboppi didn't seem to be taken seriously, Shepherd took the opportunity to go first, Link Summoning "Battledrone General" and reviving "Battledrone Warrant". Roboppi Link Summoned "Appliancer Celtopus", co-linking "Appliancer Vacculephant" and "Appliancer Propelion" to it to oppose Shepherd, though Shepherd blunted their efforts by protecting his "Drones" with "Camouflage Drone" and his "Drone Force" Skill to minimize the damage they took. As Shepherd warned Ghost Gal to be careful, noting that Roboppi wasn't a child despite their appearance, Roboppi told them about how they had become smarter and decided that humans were the worst creatures on earth, voicing their desire to turn humans into his experience points and clean the Earth. Ghost Gal was confused by Roboppi's words, though Shepherd simply stated that A.I. could not be understood and were the enemies of humanity. Ghost Gal then took her turn, making the most of Shepherd's monsters in combination with her own to Link Summon "Altergeist Hexstia" and "Altergeist Memorygant", and increase the ATK of "Hexstia" to 4300, declaring that this was the bond she shared with her brother and vowing to defeat them.[19] Ghost Gal used Shepherd's "Drones" well, successfully inflicting damage to Roboppi with the direct damage, but when she attacked with "Hexstia" the effect of Roboppi's "Propelion" halved its ATK, resulting in it being destroyed. Shepherd encouraged Ghost Gal to use his monster as she needed, so Ghost Gal Tributed "General" to increase the ATK of "Memorygant" and reduced Roboppi to 200 LP, destroying Roboppi's co-linked monsters and putting them in a position to win. Roboppi was able to protect "Celtopus" and their LP, though this left them with no cards in their hand. Despite their disadvantage, Roboppi was able to draw "Appliancer Test" and revive "Propelion" and "Vacculephant", using "Propelion" to Link Summon a new "Appliancer", "Appliancer Laundry Dragon". Ghost Gal was able to blunt both of the effects of Roboppi's monsters by banishing "General" to protect "Memorygant", but Roboppi rearranged their monsters to unlock their other effects, allowing "Vacculephant" to attack directly. Ghost Gal used "Secret Cure" to restore her LP, but the value was too low to prevent the effect of "Laundry Dragon" from wiping her out. Realizing that the attack would wipe them out, The Shepherd threw himself in the way to protect Ghost Gal from the blade, resulting in his Avatar being cut in half. He thanked Ghost Gal for freeing him from his prison of hate, and reached for his sister's hand as their data was absorbed by Ai.[20]

Kenneth and Emma were restored after Playmaker defeated Ai. They continued to work together, but in a more heroic light, rescuing Frog, Pigeon and the Bureau Chief from two large hercules beetles in a desert net world, though The Shepherd continued to urge Ghost Gal to be careful.[21]

Deck[edit]

The Shepherd and "Battledrone General".

Kenneth uses a "Drone" Deck. His main strategy is to use the effect of his ace monster "Battledrone General" to perform a One Turn Kill through direct attacks and effect damage, while using Traps like "Capture Drone" and "Drone Cordon" to shut down the opponent's Link Monsters. Though he tends to bypass his opponent's monsters due to the low ATK of most of his monsters, he can use his Skill, "Drone Force" to lower the ATK of his opponent's monsters. The Shepherd Duels pragmatically, ordering his A.I. to lie or mislead his opponents about the capabilities of his cards and employing strategies to prevent Playmaker from using "Storm Access", and Lightning from using "Judgment Arrows". In the event that he fails to defeat an opponent in a turn, he keeps countermeasures prepared to deal with their counterattacks the following turn.

After learning about Theodore Hamilton's weakness, he adds "Despair from the Dark" to his Deck, setting up a combo between it, "Duplicate Drone", and "3D Bio Scanner" in order to trigger Theodore's PTSD. He can also use Fusion and Synchro Summoning; the Spell Cards that he uses that enable them cannot be negated.

Deck

Duels[edit]

Opponent Episode(s) Outcome
Yusaku Fujiki/Playmaker 53-54 Lose
Theodore Hamilton/Soulburner 62-63 No result
Emma Bessho/Ghost Gal 77 Win
Ryoken Kogami/Varis 78 Lose
Lightning 79-80 Lose
Roboppi 106-107 Lose (with Emma Bessho/Ghost Gal)

Trivia[edit]

  • In the original Japanese version, The Shepherd's real name is revealed soon after his debut through cast lists and flashbacks. In the dub, his identity is concealed for substantially longer; Ghost Gal reveals his real name during their Duel in "A Family Reunion".

Notes[edit]

  1. The English spelling of his name is unofficial.

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 77: "A Family Reunion"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 47: "LINK VRAINS 2.0"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 54: "Game of Drones"
  4. 4.0 4.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 50: "A Common Cause"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 53: "The Shepherd"
  6. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 52: "Tapping Out"
  7. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 60: "Sidekick Showdown"
  8. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 61: "Darkness Dawns"
  9. 9.0 9.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 62: "Fearing the Worst"
  10. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 63: "Scare Tactics"
  11. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 71: "A Logical Decision"
  12. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 73: "Weathering the Storm"
  13. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 76: "Awakened Memories"
  14. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 78: "From One Hunter To Another"
  15. 15.0 15.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 79: "The Hunt Is On"
  16. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 80: "Lightning Strikes"
  17. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 103: "Journey to the End"
  18. 18.0 18.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 105: "Intercept"
  19. 19.0 19.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 106: "Good Luck, Roboppi!!"
  20. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 107: "Slay the Demon"
  21. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 120: "Connected World"